The deluge of new music has only just begun
In case you haven’t heard, the biggest problem in music is there’s way too much music. It has undermined the currency of music. And the deluge of new music is only just getting started, Sometime in the early 2020’s, we project that 1 Billion songs will be created each month.
That many songs would probably mean that all music would become worthless, even mainstream music. The music marketplace desperately needs to be rarefied, because if it’s left to it’s own devices, there will be no marketplace. Moreover, what is rare is valuable.
Perhaps the only thing big enough to sift through the ungodly mess of music are millions of musicians themselves …and their core friends, family and fans. In other words, the power of crowds.
Yes, I know …we have a loose, uncontrolled version of the power of crowds already: It’s called YouTube.
“I believe in the wisdom of crowds;
Less so the mindlessness of mobs.”
Let’s be honest, crowds need crowd control. A crowd left to its own devices can quickly become a mob. And mobs don’t necessarily make good choices.
Welcome to the age of the internet mob; the viral kind. This is where the wild meets the blind.
An internet mob is simply a popularity contest led by influencers and made viral by their (misguided?) herds. A very large herd made Justin Bieber a star. Later on, in a radio crowdsourcing competition, an opposing herd, stirred by influencers, voted to send him to North Korea for his next tour.
WHERE’S THE TIPPING POINT?
In the book The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, he defines the tipping point as that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Yes, it involves influencers and herds and all things viral. But here’s the rub. The Tipping Point is absolutely out of reach these days for 99.9% of musicians. That’s because every platform from YouTube to Spotify to SoundCloud to BandCamp to Patreon have exponentially grown to the point where they are all parking lots with tens and hundreds of millions of songs.
Here in 2016, we estimate YouTube has 2 Billion songs. A new musician uploading their first songs to YouTube in 2016 will need an impossibly large army of influencers (each bringing their own vast herd) to break through that unholy mess.
People are often quick to point to artists that began their journey towards discovery on YouTube as recently as 2009 and went on to become stars. However, in YouTube years, that is just about a billion years ago.
GRIDLOCK IS A GRAVEYARD:
Music gridlock is the death knell for obscure musicians. The funny thing is; platforms like Spotify celebrate their 50 million song catalogues as a measure of their ever-growing success. More choice they say, but we are already crippled by choice. These massive catalogues are graveyards for the vast majority of musicians. And these graveyards are too exponentially growing.
In summary, yes, today’s music industry is consumer driven. Yes, technocracy profits by driving artists and consumers into war with each other. And yes, technocracy has built a music graveyard for hundreds of millions of music artists; the invisible 99.9%.
CROWD SIZE – CROWD WISE
Crowd Size: As earlier mentioned, the only thing big enough to sift through the millions of songs and (impartially) find the best songs (while removing lesser songs and clearing the gridlock) are the millions of musicians and their core fans.
Crowd Wise: To ensure fairness, impartiality and equal opportunity for all artists (to ensure the wisdom of crowds) we simply cannot allow influencers, herds or popularity contests.
Here’s how we ensure fairness at isongU: There are 20 proprietary levels (filters) that are used to sift out the best songs. At each level, an artist must first rate songs clips by other artists (pay it forward) and then their song clip is rated in return. For song ratings to be trusted, all songs must be original and anonymous:
By anonymous, we mean no song title, no band name, no nothing. Even fans that rate songs are anonymous.
When someone clicks ‘Play’ to review a song, they get a random 1 minute clip of bare bones, anonymous music and they must decide:
‘Does this song grab me… or does it not?’
And that is about as impartial as it gets. This impartiality is critical, because without it, we can never reliably or repeatedly get down to the best music (and therefore never gain the trust of musicians or fans).
Crowds won’t just systematically sift through millions of songs and filter out the best songs just for fun. There has to be motivation …and lots of it. There are two crowds that will both need to be compulsively hyper-motivated:
- The content creators (before Streaming, these were known as Musicians).
- The consumers (before Streaming, these were known as Music Fans).
Crowd Motivation is complex and I will need to create a separate post to cover it properly.
But the greatest motivation for an artist is this…
A few months after our launch, our goal is to make it a mathematical certainty that any songs that rate high enough to make it through all levels of our accelerator will gain 1,000,000+ reviews over 24 months … leading to song sales.
This Mass Exposure is created by our 20 accelerator levels which act as collection points, scalable enough to harvest mass reviews for ‘winning’ songs. Doesn’t matter whether you’re a star or whether you’re starving, everyone has the same equal opportunity of gaining exposure … & song sales.
I know this sounds crazy, in part because the music industry has always seems to go out of its way to be grossly unfair. But yes, we are about to launch the world’s first mathematically fair, impartial pathway to exposure and ultimately stardom.